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Man’s Best Friend Gets Saved!

Yesterday I was approached by a nice young woman requesting a monthly donation to the Ottawa Humane Society.  She told me of a story of a dog named Breezy.  Though I’m sure there are stories like this everywhere, this one was in my city and I hadn’t heard of it.  It doesn’t start happy at all, but there is a happy ending.

Stephen Helfer, 24, owned a Labrador-shepherd mix dog named Breezy.  “Helfer’s attack with a rake and a shovel left Breezy with skull fractures and a swollen brain. Rescuers found her in a garbage bin, where Helfer had tossed her to die.” (Quote from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper article of June 16, 2014.  See link below.)  Several calls came in from people who saw the attack.  It wasn’t long before he was rescued and treated for his injuries.

Helfer was given 1-1/2 credit for his 8 months of pre-trial custody, leaving a sentence of 361 days, he was also prohibited from owning animals for 25 years.  This sentence is the longest ever seen in Ottawa and maybe even in Canada’s history for animal cruelty,

A couple in Gatineau (Quebec), John and Sheila, adopted Breezy.  He is doing very well and is happy in his new home.  You can witness this in the videos below. I don’t know who’s luckier, Breezy or John & Sheila.  But I am happy that I heard the good ending, and not followed it through the stages.  But I do want to commend the Ottawa Humane Society, Leanne Cusak, John, Sheila, Agent Hammond, the Rescue and Investigation Services and everyone else who helped turn this into a happy ending.

 

Read more at the Ottawa Citizen newspaper’s article and another at CBC Ottawa News.  If you would like to donate to the Ottawa Humane Society, you can go to their site here.

 

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Justin Trudeau

Few countries in the world have a younger and better educated Prime Minister than the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This well educated young man is the second youngest Prime Minister of Canada, second only to Joe Clark. And he is the first elected Prime Minister who is the child of a previous elected Prime Minister. He is the son of Pierre Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada. He has performed some amazing feats, one of which was to lead his Liberal party from third place (by the number of seats) to first place, thus winning a landslide victory. He had the largest increment in number of seats of any party in Canadian history. It is not surprising, then, that Forbes Magazine ranks him among the most powerful persons in the world. He stands 69th in that list.

Justin Trudeau was born Christmas eve in 1971, while his father was still in office. Despite repeated protests from his wife, Pierre Trudeau was permitted into the delivery room. Little did they know that their son would follow in his father’s footsteps. In fact, in April 1972, American President Nixon raised a toast “Tonight, we’ll dispense with formalities. I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada — to Justin Pierre Trudeau.” The Prime Minister noted that should this come true, he would want his son to have “the grace and skill of the President” (Nixon). In April 1972, Nixon gave a champagne toast during a buffet meal. His remarks have become known as the Nixon prophecy. “Tonight, we’ll dispense with formalities. I’d like to toast the future prime minister of Canada — to Justin Pierre Trudeau.”

 

In 2009, Trudeau spoke of his parent’s marriage. “They loved each other incredibly, passionately, completely. But there was 30 years between them and my Mom never was an equal partner in what encompassed my father’s life, his duty, his country.”

Since childhood, Justin was given the “normal” treatment, to make sure that he was raised without any unreasonable privileges. He was sent to a public school, and used the school bus (as opposed to a limousine) to his school.

Later in life, Justin Trudeau has used his public status to promote various causes. For instance, he and his family, started the Kokanee Glacier Alpine Campaign for winter sports safety in 2000, two years after his brother, Michel Trudeau, died in an avalanche during a ski trip.

In 2002, Trudeau criticized the British Columbia’s decision to suspend its funding for a public avalanche warning system.

In 2005, Trudeau fought against a proposed $100 million zinc mine that he argued would poison the Nahanni River, a United Nations World Heritage Site in the Northwest Territories.

He became involved with the Liberal Party from a young age, and that involvement progressed over the years. He won the party’s nomination in 2007, and in 2015, he led his party to win the elections in one of the biggest upsets in the Canadian political history. The rest, so far, is history.
For a good laugh, just watch the short video below. Some Americans’ thought on who Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is.

 

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Trudeaumania

Canada is a great country, having seen mostly peace for all of its existence, and being one of the countries whose history is almost impeccably laudable. Building that amazing history has partly been due to the fact that our leaders have mostly done the right thing for our country. And when the topic of good leaders come, our modern history has seen one whose name always stands out. Pierre Trudeau, the father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been an inspiration for an entire generation, with his wonderful period as a Prime Minister.

A personality that dominated the entire country with such ferocity as never seen in our country’s history, Pierre Trudeau had a great career as a popular political figure, loved by many. Beginning his career as a lawyer and activist in Quebec politics, Trudeau joined the Liberal Party in 1960s, and was quickly appointed the Parliamentary Secretary of Lester B. Pearson. He went on to become the Minister of Justice of the country. Such was his following that some even give it the term “Trudeaumania.” He stayed as Prime Minister for a long period, before resigning from his post finally in 1984. His leadership has been seen as a remarkable, and often favorably polarizing period for Canada.


An example of him holding tight to his decision in a crisis is the FLQ episode. Canadians were shocked on October 19, 1970 when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the House of Commons passed the War Measures Act.

The federal and Quebec governments where struggling with the Front de Liberation du Quebec(FLQ). The had kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross on October 5. They held him for a ransom of $500,000 and demanded that the CBC broadcast the FLQ manifesto.

Then they abducted Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte on October 10; his body was discovered eight days later.

At one point, from the steps of parliament, the press asked him about the extreme implementation of the War Measures Act, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau replied, “Just watch me.” That statement would forever become a part of Trudeau’s legacy.

Some of his biggest national achievements during his term as Prime Minister were suppressing the Quebec sovereign movement, and building Canada as a nation with unity as a core principle. He is also known for introducing bilingualism as official policy of Canada, and for his Patriation of the Constitution. It was under him that Canada stopped being ruled by British laws that could be changed by the British, and it was the moment when Canada finally got sovereignty. This event has had him hailed as the “father of modern Canada”.

PM Pierre Trudeau doing a pirouette behind the Queen

Every great person has critics, and so did Pierre Trudeau. His critics impugn him with claims of arrogance and poor economic management, and of having centralized the management of Canada (which has been hailed as a very good thing by others), thus robbing Quebec of the culture and economy of Prairies. But whatever the naysayers speak, Trudeau has been consistently shown up in a list of the greatest Prime Ministers of Canada.

Pierre Trudeau has been considered one of the most loved, and the most hated of the Canadian Prime Ministers. This is because of the charisma and confidence that he held, along with his focus on uniting Canada and making sure that the country has one holistic identity. But he is also known for his antipathy towards his political opponents, and his dislike for any sort of compromise have also gained him some critics. In fact, it has been said the it was Mackenzie King, who was the only other person who had matched such levels of electoral success as Pierre Trudeau. This mad made Canada what it is today, fought for recognition, and suppressed any factional uprisings to make the country whole. That is something that is going to be on the history books forever.

 

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Great Banks Earthquake & Tsunami of 1929

Tsunami in Burin Pen on November 18, 1929

The “Great Banks Earthquake of 1929” centred just off the south coast of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. The earthquake measured 7.2 on the Richter scale at 5:15 pm. Just after 7 pm, people in the village of St. Lawrence saw the water in their harbour raise to thirty metres (99 feet).The tsunami caused 28 deaths, hundreds of people homeless, and nearly $400,000 in damage costs (nowadays that is roughly $5.5 million). The tsunami was to have been felt by those as far as New York.

When the waves first hit the coast, they hit hard. They first hit at 40 kilometres an hour and caused sea levels to rise from up to three metres all the way up to a shocking seven meters. In the narrow bays of peninsula the level rose by an even more shocking height of 13 metres and in some places, 27 metres! This made it possible for there to be houses lifted off their foundations and to be carried away by the waves of the sea. Not only causing devastation, but taking literally taking the homes of communities.

The Globe and Mail reported:

“The earthquake threshed the bed of the Atlantic with sufficient force to sever ten of the twenty-one cables connecting the Easter and Western Hemispheres.”

Hence, the people could not send out an S.O.S.

Although the tsunami’s three waves hit Burin Peninsula within the space of 30 minutes and sea levels had returned to normal after about two hours, it had destroyed more than homes. Thousands of victims confused by what had happened and upset. Many people missing and presumed dead. The mental impact this had on the victims is unimaginable.

On a final note, here is another first-hand experience of the events:

 

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The Regina Cyclone

The “Regina Cyclone” hit the town of Regina, Canada, on June the 30th of 1912 and has since been seen as one of the most destructive tornadoes ever to hit Canada. Hitting an estimated wind speed of 800 kilometres an hour the tornado had quite an impact on people’s lives.

Here are some statistics on the impact caused by the tornado:

  • Wind speed of 800 km/h
  • Caused $1,200,000 in damage costs (today that would be around $485 million dollars)
  • More than 2,500 people’s homes were destroyed and were homeless afterwards
  • 28 people died due to the tornado
  • The tornado traveled over 12 kilometres before dissipating
  • It took nearly 40 years to repay all the debt that had built up from rebuilding costs

All of these show just the devastating impact that the tornado had on not only the people, but the financial status of the country!

Pictures taken after the cyclone had dissipated show that the downtown area of Regina had the worst damage compared to the rest of the city.

 

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The Frankie Slide at Turtle Mountain

Frank Slide on May 5, 1971

The “Frank Slide” was a tragic rock-slide that took place across the town of Frank, a town known for coal-mining. The town was in the Northwest of Alberta. The slide itself consisted of 82 million metric tonnes of limestone, and nearly half a mile long, falling down from Turtle Mountain and into the “Crowsnest River” that was at the bottom of the mountain. Lasting a little longer than 90 seconds yet still managing to kill an estimated 90 people, the Frank Slide was one of Canada’s most deadliest rock-slides.

The biggest question is, “What caused the slide?”. The answer is simply that the structure of Turtle mountain was very unstable due to thrust forces and gravity, and this tragedy was inevitably going to happen.

The “Frankie Slide” Myth

Shortly after the slide, a myth was created about a baby girl having survived the rock avalanche, but was inaccurate. The story itself is somewhat true in saying that there were several younger girls that survived, although the part of the story that mentions a baby girl being the sole survivor, was a tad far-fetched.

There were three girls who survived the rock-slide. Three year old Fernie Watkins, two-year old Marion Leitch, and 15 month old Gladys Ennis. The youngest of the three was found choking on mud and was saved by her parents. Stories began to spread that Gladys was called “Frankie Slide” and that she was the sole survivor of the rock-slide, which was as we now know, false. In fact, she alongside the two other girls, were among the other twenty plus people who had survived the rock-slide and had become victims of the Frank Slide.

Future Damage

A future avalanche is inevitable unfortunately. Scientists believe that as Turtle Mountain continues to move at a few millimetres every year, the forces which are holding the mountain together and keeping the structure stable will eventually be overpowered by the unfortunate forces of gravity leading to yet another rock-slide. However, the same scientists do not believe that there will be a rock-slide at the same side of the mountain, but it will in fact be towards the south of the mountain.

Concluding the unfortunate incident, the damage that was caused by the rock-slide consisted of many miners homes, farms, railway lines, factories and even the Frank cemetery. The slide left hundreds devastated and while many were unharmed by it, their homes destroyed and having to start again. A lot of those who lived in the town of Frank started lives elsewhere and the town begun to lessen in population.

 

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Ah, the Brothers in Law …

 

The Brothers-in-Law was a Canadian satirical musical group active in the 1960s and early 1970s, recording many popular record albums and creating the occasional controversy.

The group was born in 1963 by four police officers in Windsor, Ontario (hence the name Brothers-in-Law). The group’s collection consisted of musical satire making fun at the Canadian government, the law, and buyer issues. They performed and recorded a mix of original songs and adaptations of folk and stage tunes.

The band’s most popular recording was the album Oh! Oh! Canada, which was released in 1965, which sold between 100,000 and 275,000 copies (sources differ as to the exact number). The album’s best-known songs included “Rally Around the New Flag“, which lampooned the extensive political discussions over the “Maple Leaf” national flag design.

The band recorded five albums of songs and a number of singles in Canada. They also recorded an album for release in the United States which included a new rendition of “The Pill” and “Canada-U.S.A.”, a song about Canadian-American similarities and the long-standing debate over whether Canada should become the 51st state.

The original members of the band included songwriter Alec Somerville on banjo, Howard Duffy on the guitar, Larry Reaume on the guitar, and Ken Clarke on bass. In 1965, Clarke left the band and replaced by schoolteacher Bob Lee. But a year later when Duffy left the band in 1966, he was not replaced. The group members maintained their regular jobs, treating their musical career as a sideline and only giving intermittent concerts.

The group officially disbanded in the early 1970s, but in the early 1980s, a compilation album named, Oh! Oh! Canada, Eh? was released. (The appending of the phrase “Eh?” to the title suggests its release was inspired by the success of Bob and Doug MacKenzie.).

In 2008, the Quebec-based label Unidisc reissued most of the group’s albums over a three-volume CD series. Volume 1 collected Oh! Oh! Canada and Strike AgainVolume 2 featured Expose ’67 and Onward the Establishment, while Volume 3 presented The Pill and the previously never released recordings featured in the 1980s compilation Oh! Oh! Canada, Eh?

 

Discography

  • Oh! Oh! Canada (1965)
  • The Brothers-in-Law Strike Again (1966)
  • Expose ’67 (1967)
  • Expose ’67 Plus (1967) – same album as above, with extra tracks
  • The Pill (US release; year unknown, c.1967)
  • Onward the Establishment (1969)
  • Oh! Oh! Canada, Eh? (early 1980s compilation)
  • The Brothers in Law (2008) – three-volume CD series collecting most of the group’s albums
 

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